Calcium & alkanity supplements

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by L/B Block, May 1, 2017.

  1. L/B Block

    L/B Block Guest

    So our tank is up and running. Just tested the alkalinity that came in a smidgen under 8 dKH. Will test calcium tonight most likely and it should be fine after last water change.

    However prior to water change yesterday, alk was at 7 dKH & calcium came in at 320 ppm.

    What do people use to supplement calcium? Reactors or auto dosers? We have yet to start corals but we want to in the next couple of weeks and just looking to stabilize calc.


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  2. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    I use BRS 1.1ml dosers and BRS 2-part in conjunction with Woods digital timers. However, with no coral you really shouldn't need to worry about dosing as water changes will be sufficient for your needs. Even if you have a bunch of softies and a small-medium amount of LPS, you could probably manage to get away with water changes only. SPS and large numbers of LPS would require dosing.

    There is one situation I did run into that had alk disappearing and not because of coral. If you have a ton of snails breeding and end up with baby snails, they do use up a noticeable amount of alk and calc. I had ~150 baby trochus snails and that did take up around 0.5 dkH per day.
  3. L/B Block

    L/B Block Guest

    Thanks Randy. At some point we will be going big on corals. Prob be hitting those frag swaps soon enough!

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  4. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    I dissolve a week's dose of Seachem Reef Complete for Ca into a gallon jug of RO water, and use an auto doser on a timer to empty the jug over a week. You can either adjust the timer cycle or amount of supplement to add to the jug. I do the same with alk and keep the dosing at separate times to avoid precipitation. This also serves as part of my water top up.

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  5. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    You guys don't want a calcium reactor. Go w dosing by hand or dosing pumps. The bubble magus are ok and have timer built in, brs ones work fine but need timers. There are nicer brands, but they cost more (obviously)
  6. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    On your next water change, measure your parameters afterwards. Then remeasure in ~24 hours. That'll tell you how much the tank and corals are consuming. It should be minimal in the beginning but will steadily increase as the tank matures and you add more corals.
    Coral reefer and Newjack like this.
  7. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Coraline algae can use up ca and mg pretty fast. Are you guys seeing any purple yet?
  8. Franko

    Franko Guest

  9. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    I've observed Mg, Ca and alk precipitation (maybe on new aragonite substrate or equipment?) in new tanks without livestock and had to dose Mg, Ca and alk to get back to the level I wanted during cycling before adding live rock.

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  10. L/B Block

    L/B Block Guest

    Thanks all-this helps.

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  11. L/B Block

    L/B Block Guest

    Not yet.

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  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Auto dosers using 2 part seem like the main way to go for anything but really big tanks.
    Far simpler, plus you can tweak Ca/Alk slightly independently.
    Peristaltic pump on an aquarium controller is ideal.

    You did not mention Kalk. There are a lot of plusses to that, so it is something to consider.
    Newjack likes this.
  13. Newjack

    Newjack Supporting Member

    plus 1 in considering Kalk.
    Kalk can support a system for quite awhile until your alk./cal. consumption gets relatively high.

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